September 30th is a day Canadians can practice truth and reconciliation by wearing orange and thinking about Phyllis' story. The date for this annual event was in part chosen because September is the time of year when children were taken from their homes and brought to residential school.
For those who haven't hit the link to Phyllis' story, (and please do! She tells her own story better than I ever could ever re-tell it) Phyllis' shiny orange shirt was stripped from her on her first day in residential school. I know that some of us are under the impression that residential schools are old news, even ancient history. Phyllis' story occurred in 1973. If you think 1973 is a long time ago, I welcome you to take a closer look at the lines around my eyelids. Then, by all means, ask me if I agree that the 70's are ancient history.
One thing I love about storytelling is it's amazing ability to build empathy between people from different backgrounds and experiences. With that in mind, I'd like to share two book recommendations from Indigenous Canadian authors. Both have deepened my own understanding.
April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton was a book I first read while earning my bachelor of social work. The story is about two Metis sisters who are removed from their home and then subsequently grow up in foster care.
Legacy by Waubgeshig Rice was published in 2014. I had the chance to hear Mr. Rice at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in 2015 and he was both thoughtful and inspiring. Legacy deals with violence perpetuated against a woman and its ongoing effect on her Anishinaabe family.
What's an Unblog?
I've been told that blogs need to be updated regularly and consistently. So let's be clear: this is not a blog.